As our daughter learns and grows, she also has some falls. She learns to climb on things and then has to figure out how to get down safely - or not so safely. Recently she was playing on the ledge by our fireplace (which we basically never use). She was facing the fireplace with her back to the edge of the ledge, not realizing that if she leaned back, she'd fall about a foot off the ledge onto her back and smack her head - which is exactly what she did.
I watched her head smack onto our carpet floor with a loud thud and the cries weren't far behind. She stood up, looked at me and then ran full speed at me with her arms wide open. I embraced her and snuggled her close, giving her head a kiss and reminding her that everything would be okay. This time it took a bit longer to calm her than other times - she's amazingly resilient - but as I did I couldn't help but think that there will come a day when she'll get bumps and bruises, physical, spiritual, or emotional, but she may not be so quick to run to me for healing and comfort. While I'm sure that day will come, and I'm already a little sad about it, I also know that my heart will ache for her just the same.
So too it is with God. There are times in our faith life when we have a stumble and the very first thing we do is run to Him or fall to our knees in prayer. But then, as we grow older, we sometimes stop running to Him first to comfort us, assure us that everything will be okay, and heal our wounds. Instead, we open the freezer and pull out some ice cream to drown our sorrows. We head to the local bar for a drink with a friend. We call up our best friend to complain about whatever life has thrown our way now. After watching my daughter fall and realizing that there will come a day that she won't run to me, I have no doubt that it saddens God when we fall but don't come to Him with our pain and brokenness. His heart aches for us just the same, if not more. He longs to comfort us, to have us run at Him, arms wide open, waiting for His loving, healing embrace.
I like to think that I have Mommy Magic when it comes to comforting my daughter. I've learned what she needs, what each cry means, and how best to love her - at least for now. But I also know that any Mommy Magic I have, any ability to love her or heal her hurts comes from the One who first loves me, heals me, and invites me to share His love with those around me.